Month: March 2015

memory ball: #MindOverAlz

I was fortunate enough to be invited to another charity event this month, this time, the Memory Ball in support of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto. The event was started a few years ago by a group of young professionals who were all impacted by the disease. Before Saturday’s event, the Memory Ball has raised $120,000 since 2011 (and 2015’s numbers have yet to be added).

The event took place at the beautiful Palais Royale, I’ve never been to this venue but it’s really nice – and I’m sure just amazing in the summer with the patio on the water. The event had great silent auction and raffle prizes to bid on. The event also had the famous Toronto artist, Carlos Delgado live-painting a piece inspired by Memory Ball. It was unbelievable to watch this beautiful painting take shape over the course of just a couple of hours. You can see the finished product on his Facebook page. The evening also began with a fun woodwind band, I recognized a couple of the songs – including the song from Looney Toons :)

The event had a signature drink, the #Blue72, a drink with Hpnotiq and peach schnapps. I always forget how much I like Hpnotiq until I’m served a cocktail with it. I may have enjoyed a couple of them… They were really delicious. 

The herring vodka bar on the other hand, will fall under “try everything once” category. A staple of Memory Ball, you’re supposed to take a shot of vodka and chase it with herring… I stuck with the #Blue72 but others really seemed to enjoy it.  The food at the event was also amazing. I had poutine, smoked salmon, and a few cupcakes. There was also a late night burrito bar, because… burritos. Perfect way to end the evening after enjoying the open bar.  Aveda Institute also had a makeup touch-up station, which was great because it was really windy Saturday night and maybe my red lipstick ended up everywhere. They were also doing hand massages, the loveliest woman named Nirvana gave me a great hand massage – it was a great addition to the event.

 Around 10pm, the committee spoke and there was a few speeches about how Alzheimer’s has affected the lives of the committee members, their families and even the emcee. They showed these remarkably touching video about young caregivers. It’s estimated that 15% of caregivers in Canada are aged 18-24, they are young people who are trying to balance their caregiver responsibilities as well as school, work and other commitment. I will share this video as soon as I find it because I think it’s worth the less than 5 minutes to take to watch it. Following the thank yous, it was time for the party to get started. The DJ started and the dancefloor filled up.

It was truly a remarkable event, one I’m honoured I was invited to. You can learn more about Memory Ball on their site and make a donation to the Alzheimer Society of Toronto. An organization doing great work in the community, supporting people with Alzheimer’s and their family. I’m sure plans are already in the works for 2016, make sure to keep an eye on twitter, tickets to this event sell out quickly – and now I know why. :)

 

monday link love

Happy Monday everyone! Here’s a few links I’m loving around the internet this week.

Even though I’m not a huge oyster fan, I know so many people are and Happy or Hungry‘s post makes me want to like them too.

There’s a long weekend coming up, it’s the perfect time to start an project (like when I built a closet) and you can use Waffling‘s blog for some inspiration as you read up on her den reservations.

I’m looking to spend less money on fast food and restaurants unless it’s really worth it. The Girls on Bloor has you covered with this homemade big mac recipe.

Have a great week!

March 27-29: what to do/see/eat/drink in toronto this weekend

Happy Friday everyone! My Thirsty Thursday post didn’t go up because I went to brewery bingo, which was great but more about that later! Here’s what’s going on this weekend if you’re looking for things to do this weekend.

Do: This weekend is the One of a Kind Spring Show at the Direct Energy Centre. Get out and meet the artists and shop locally for lots of items like jewelry, food, art and more! The show runs until Sunday.

See: The Canadian Film Fest is on until tomorrow. All movies are showing on in Little Italy at The Royal Theatre, shows are restricted to 18+ and can be purchased online.

Eat/Drink: Tonight is the 14th Society of Beer Drinking Ladies. The venue has been announced as Propeller Coffee on Wade, near Landsdowne Station. Tickets are sold out but men and non-ticket holders are allowed after midnight.

Have a fabulous weekend!

literature for life

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a fundraiser for Literature for Life, a couple of weeks ago. Literature for Life is a Toronto-based organization that uses literature to positively impact the educational and social outcomes for young moms and their children.

The event was hosted at the Fox and Fiddle on Danforth. The venue was decorated so nicely and they had a fun literature-themed scavenger hunt throughout the bar. I had an opportunity to speak with a number of volunteers about the organization and was really impressed with what they do. They host meet ups with young moms where they read novels within the group. Most of the groups are lead by local writers which facilitate the reading and conversations about the work. These groups are designed to help enable young women to develop the capacity and confidence to re-imagine their lives.

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Author Chantel Guerin Speaking

 

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Centennial Students Out Supporting This Great Cause

Many of the women in the program are moms from ages 13-30, many of them live alone or in a shelter. The goal of Literature for Life is to help improve reading skills and improve self-confidence in participants which they believe improves the opportunities for the whole family. The organization also encourages moms to begin a routine of reading with their children – investing in their children’s education.

The event was beautifully run and raised over $800 for this amazing organization, which is enough to sponsor one mom for 8 months. This organization is local to Toronto, so all the money will help women in our community. You can find out more about the organization here or help with a donation here.

monday link love

Hope you enjoyed the first weekend of Spring. Here’s some links I loved from around the internet this week.

I love Happy or Hungry’s blog, her personal stories always put a smile on my face. She got me this week with her first photo  (even though it was a bit of a rant post, which I totally get) :)

Gluten Freedom Toronto always knows the best places in the city to get gluten free food and this week, she posed a delicious looking recipe. I have some frozen bananas, I should make these soon!

My last post this week is another recipe – sesame, garlic and seaweed, a few of my favourite things!

Have a fabulous week!

monday link love

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the mild day. Here’s some links I loved this week.

Lemon – delicious. Blueberries – delicious. Glazed Lemon and Dried Blueberry Cookies – super delicious. Seasons and Suppers has got a great looking recipe.

Want something fun and green but not having any booze, check out The Sweet Escape’s no churn pistachio ice cream.

And if you’re trying to decide between to green or not to green, check out Schoolhouse Booze’s Go Green on March Seventeen?

making your life easier with toronto sites

I’m all about making things easier and these Toronto sites make taking care of the even the most mundane task easier.

1 – Hurrier – This site allows you to order from some of Toronto’s hosttest (and busiest) restaurants. This service is perfect if you want to eat at the trendy places but the idea of getting out of your robe is just too daunting. You can also contact them to deliver other items throughout the city.

2 – Helpling – This site allows you to book cleaning services with independent cleaning contractors. I live in a tiny place but every once in a while (usually around my birthday) I just want someone to clean my place. There’s something so refreshing about enjoying a clean home and it’s even better when you don’t have do it yourself.

3 – SpaceWays – This site is an on-demand storage service. It drops off storage boxes and picks them up when they are filled (especially perfect for those without a car!) and stores them at a Toronto location until needed. At the click of a button, the boxes can be returned within 24 hours. This is perfect if you’re moving or renovating and need some time away from your stuff.

4 – Giftagram  – This site also has an iphone app (no android yet) which allows you to ordre and send gifts for any occasion. It’s a nice way to get unique gifts for people, I really like that you can get items that are local, like desmond and beatrice baked goods, I promise I won’t judge you if you just order them for yourself. Also shipping is included, I hate not knowing the shipping upfront.

5 – Real Food Toronto – This site is perfect if you’re like me and hate grocery shopping, its such a nuisance, time I could be spending watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (for the undisclosed number of times)This site allows you to grocery shop online for groceries. After selecting meat, produce or anything else, users can enter their address and have their groceries delivered straight to their doorsteps, and delivery is free for orders over $200.

What sites do you use to make your life easier?

March 13-15: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in toronto

Happy Friday the 13th (again). Hope you all have a great week. Here’s what’s coming up this weekend if you’re still looking for things to do.

Do: You can go to the Junos! I don’t know why that sounds so crazy to me but you can purchase tickets and go to the Junos. They’re happening in Hamilton and tickets are still available for Sundays event.

See: Canada Blooms starts this Friday at the Direct Energy Centre. I always find the flower displays really remarkable. Also, it means Spring is coming! Tickets are available online or at the doors.

Eat/Drink: It’s St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday so there will be lots of people celebrating in the city (including yours truly). There’s still tickets to St. Partys Day at Brasaii, the annual Carlsburg sponsored event.

Have a fabulous weekend!

thirsty thursday: black oak brown nut ale

Better late than never! It’s still technically Thursday, right? :)

This week’s Thirsty Thursday is a beer that honestly, I didn’t think I’d like. I don’t typically drink darker beers but this one was really nice. This dark and malty beer is really nice and lighter than I expected. I usually expect dark beers to be heavy and hoppy but the malt was definitely stronger taste coming through, with hints of chocolate and coffee.

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 This 5% beer is available at the LCBO is 600ML bottles for $4.95.

Have you tried Black Oak? What did you think?

monday link love

Happy Monday! I hope you all have a beautiful sunny Monday. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood today because of the weather. I hope it gets warmer and warmer.

One of my new year’s resolution was/is to drink more water, Get Up and Dress Up has some great delicious flavoured water.

The Sweet Escape has got your tunes covered with her favourite Songza lists.

And because Spring is in the air, i heart naptime has some beautiful spring wreaths that you can do-yourself.

Have a great week!

P.S. – If you’re looking for something great to do tomorrow night, #CelebrationImagination for Literature for Life is happening at Fox and Fiddle on the Danforth, a charity event supporting literacy in the city.